Skip to main content
U.S.

DOJ sides with Christian group punished for feeding homeless

Share

Media Landscape

MediaMiss™This story is a Media Miss by the right as only 19% of the coverage is from right leaning media.

Learn more about this data

Left 50%

Center 31%

Right 19%

Bias Distribution Powered by Ground News

The Justice Department has expressed its support for a Christian nonprofit in its land-use dispute with the Southern Californian city of Santa Ana. The dispute centers around the nonprofit handing out food and drinks to homeless people. 

“Religious groups should be entitled to exercise their religion by providing charitable services based in their religious beliefs,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a statement. “Our office firmly opposes actions that block religious groups from carrying out their spiritual mission to help others in need.”

In the fall of 2021, the city warned Micah’s Way that providing food and beverages out of its resource center was in violation of the municipal code. The nonprofit was told to get a certificate of occupancy. The city then denied Micah’s Way’s application on the basis of zoning restrictions.

Micah’s Way sued the city in response, claiming it infringed on the nonprofit’s right to religious exercise. On Tuesday, May 9, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest siding with Micah’s Way.

“Discriminatory barriers and land use restrictions against faith-based organizations is unlawful,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a statement. “Many faith-based organizations across the country are on the front lines serving the needs of people experiencing homelessness. The Justice Department is committed to enforcing federal civil rights laws to ensure that all religious groups can freely exercise their religious beliefs.”

The city of Santa Ana has filed a motion to dismiss the land-use lawsuit, arguing that that Christian nonprofit giving food to the homeless was not a religious activity but “merely an incidental use of minor significance.” A hearing on the motion to dismiss is set for June.

Tags: ,

The D-O-J is backing a Christian non-profit in its land use dispute with the Southern Californian city of Santa Ana.

The dispute centers around the nonprofit handing out food and drinks to homeless people. 

Back in 20-21 — the city warned Micah’s Way that providing food and beverages out of its resource center was in violation of the municipal code.

The non-profit was told to get a certificate of occupancy.

The city then denied Micah’s Way’s application on the basis of zoning restrictions.

Micah’s way ended up suing the city — claiming it infringed on the nonprofit’s right to religious exercise.

This week — the D-O-J filed a statement of interest siding with Micah’s Way.

Quote — “Religious groups should be entitled to exercise their religion by providing charitable services based in their religious beliefs. Our office firmly opposes actions that block religious groups from carrying out their spiritual mission to help others in need.”

The city of Santa Ana has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit — arguing that giving food to the homeless was not a religious activity but quote “merely an incidental use of minor significance.”

A hearing on the motion to dismiss is set for next month.